Hollywood Brown, Ravens GM Reveal Details Behind Blockbuster Trade

Ravens Hollywood Brown

Getty Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marquise "Hollywood" Brown drops a pass during a September 2021 game.

After the Baltimore Ravens sent wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown to the Arizona Cardinals in a draft-night blockbuster trade on April 28, many fans were left surprised about the star’s sudden departure.

It was surprising to see the Ravens trade away their 2019 first-round pick, especially given his chemistry with star quarterback Lamar Jackson, who appeared upset with the trade on social media.

Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta addressed the trade after the first round concluded, calling it a “complicated topic.”

“Marquise came to me after the season and requested that he be traded and was not happy and wanted to play elsewhere,” explained DeCosta, who added that “it was something that I anguished over for a long time.”

In fact, the Ravens’ selection of Brown with the 25th overall pick in 2019 was DeCosta’s first draft pick as Baltimore’s general manager, making it even harder for him to trade away the former Oklahoma Sooner.

He further explained his rationale for making the deal:

I always say the club has to win, and this was a situation where it was going to be impossible for the club to truly win, but we do what we think is best for the player. We try to accommodate players when we can. I’m sensitive to that, so we did it. I think he would say that he feels happy, which is good, and we made the best of the situation as a club. We used that pick wisely, I think.

With the pick they received in the deal, the Ravens selected Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum, who DeCosta called an “excellent player.”

All Parties Kept Trade Secret

DeCosta also revealed that the trade had been in the works for a while, but worked to keep it a secret until the draft.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport even revealed on the Pat McAfee show that “ultimate, ultimate secrecy” was crucial to the process.

Rapoport explained that the Ravens agreed to terms with the Cardinals, but wanted to keep it secret until draft day so that other teams wouldn’t know about Baltimore’s sudden need at receiver.

“Everyone involved kept it secret,” said Rapoport, who added that the deal may not have gone through if it was leaked beforehand.

Hollywood Brown Explains Departure

Brown confirmed that he requested the trade after the 2021 season ended during an appearance on “I Am An Athlete Tonight” with Brandon Marshall and Leger Douzable on April 28.

“We both handled it the right way,” Brown said, “I didn’t go out and make anything public.”

Brown also revealed that he had been pondering making such a request after his second NFL season ended in 2021. He even admitted that he had discussed his desire to leave Baltimore with Lamar Jackson.

“I talked to Lamar about it after my second year,” said Brown, who went back to Jackson and “let him know again, ‘I can’t do it.'”

Brown explained that the Ravens’ offensive system, a run-first scheme that prioritizes physical play, “just wasn’t for me, personally.”

In Arizona, Brown may be more comfortable in Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid offense with former Oklahoma teammate Kyler Murray throwing him the ball.

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